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AOBA Reunion Weekend
In order for us to continue as successfully as we currently are, your help is needed to recruit more Arborfield Veterans to our Association.
If any of you know of a candidate for Membership, kindly use all your persuasive powers to get them to join… Your reward will be a year’s free Membership – well worth it!
Membership of the AOBA is open to anyone who entered through those hallowed gates at Arborfield as an Apprentice regardless of your capbadge!
Completion of the Apprenticeship is not a prerequisite – so if you moved on to other things before your Passing Out Parade, you can be sure of a very warm welcome.
Membership Applications from those who may have been Military or Civilian Members of the Permanent Staff of The Apprentice School or Colleges are also most welcome.
Membership of the AOBA
If you wish to join or are a past Member wishing to re-join you can do this directly via Paypal Payment Only HERE
(We recommend using a desktop/laptop machine for this process as some members had issues with PayPal on mobile devices)
If you prefer to use a Direct Debit then download the printable Membership Application Form HERE
Full Membership – All former and serving Apprentices and their successors are eligible for Full Membership. Completion of an Apprenticeship is not a prerequisite.
Associate Membership – Any individual of the Military or Civilian Permanent Staff of The Schools and Colleges and upon request, any former Apprentice of a unit that does not have its own similar Association. The Committee may also offer free Associate Membership to persons who have given outstanding support and help to the Association.
Honorary Membership – At the discretion of the Committee any person not entitled to Full or Associate Membership but who has rendered services to The Schools and Colleges, and/or the AOBA. Honorary Members are entitled to all facilities, benefits and rights open to Full and Associate Members, except for voting rights.
Upon an individual submitting a Membership Application, written acceptance by the AOBA and receipt, by the AOBA, of the initial Annual Fee (currently standing at £15 and then payable on a recurring annual basis) you will receive your unique Membership Number, access to the website Members Area and the last issue of OBAN (PDF version and/or if preferred a printed version subject to availability).
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Why wait as it can’t be as bewildering as when you really Joined Up all those years ago. Meet old and new comrades with common experiences and memories – “The Reds” live on!
Nervous, apprehensive, seeing those imposing gates,
Wondering what lies in store, what future trials await;
Wanting to turn back, return again from whence we came,
Wishing we had never read recruiting posters claims.
But much too late we stand, confronting stark reality,
That we’re committed to a life we entered voluntarily,
But, hiding grave foreboding, we put all our doubts aside,
And entered, all determined to take life in our stride.
That was the start of our careers so many years ago,
When all was sunny happy days,(or we recall it so,)
And we forget the first few days, bewildered, dazed and lost,
While trying to adjust to this New World, this line we crossed.
For now our past is done, forgotten- just a memory,
As we prepare to join this new, extended family,
Presently relinquishing our ties to dads and mothers,
Exchanging them for hundreds of assorted newfound brothers.
Though in those first few hours, still feeling empty and alone,
Existing in an alien world, just wishing we were home,
We’re learning a first lesson very quickly, short and sweet,
Which is brought home to us, in short – to stand on our two feet.
No parents to protect us nor to shield us when we fail
To do what is required, no matter how we weep and wail,
We’re masters of our future now, and we will stand or fall
By our own actions from this day, throughout life’s fits and squalls.
And on that first night, laid in an unfamiliar, strange, cold bed,
Listening to muffled sobs and quiet teardrops shed,
As pangs of homesickness strike home to many youngsters there,
We start to grow up from this time, although not yet aware.
And this is how we differed from our pals in Civvy Street
Thrust into a grown-up world, our childhood incomplete,
We learned quite quickly to survive, mature more swiftly then,
Necessitating major change as we turned into men.
There were some boys who failed to change, who could not readjust,
But really not surprising when we look at the robust
Life that we were thrown into, the complete transformation
That we were called to undertake in our chosen vocation.
Now, with the gift of hindsight, looking back at times long past,
We see how these things shaped our lives, and showing the contrasts With how a different path chosen Would alter our life’s course,
But all in all I think that we could have done a whole lot worse!
We did not realize we were making memories; we were just having fun!
Join us at the AOBA and share those memories…HERE
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